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IT was hard to believe, he would think, sitting at his desk in
the office over the drugstore, with his papers spread out on
the desk, or a client sitting there before him, and with the
comforting and irregular ticking of the girl's typewriter
coming to his ears from the outer room. Many afternoons
that spring, when the windows were open to let in the warm-
ing air, or when the pavements glistened in the quick sunlight
that had followed a flurry of rain and people came out again
4to walk up and down, idling and calling to each other, he
would find it hard to believe that such afternoons did not
belong to the spring before, or to the spring before that.

And once or twice Mr. Munn got up from his desk and
looked at himself in the mirror of the old walnut hatrack by
the door. He had not changed since last spring, or the spring
before. Or at least, he could tell no difference. When he
shaved in the mornings he would regard his face in the
mirror, the long, slightly hooked nose, his dark, deep-set eyes,
the close-growing, dark hair, and sometimes he would think,
well, it doesn't show a mark of change, not a mark. He
himself was the same, and everything was the same, May's
glance and gesture, the way the fields lay outside the window,
the very food on the table for breakfast and the smell of
coffee. Presently, he would mount his mare and ride off
toward town, as before.

"What's the matter, Perse?" May had asked him two or
three times.

"Matter? Nothing's the matter," he had answered. The
first time he answered with an effort at a jocose and affec-
tionate tone. He set his pipe on the mantelshelf, for he was
standing there just after dinner with an unlit match in his
fingers, and drew her to him with one hand while with the
other he touched the mass of hair above her small face.
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